Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin’s government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.This is why it is really suspect that this same Paul Manafort used his Trump campaign email to shake down a Russian-linked Ukrainian for payment for some services rendered, and also brief a Russian billionaire regarding, I guess, the campaign itself, while Manafort was running it.
It's almost like he was still doing business for Russia while running Trump's presidential campaign, as a guy who once said he could influence US politics in Russia's favor. That is really quite something, right? This is the very reason Paul Manafort was under surveillance. He might be trying out a "rotten dirty politics trying to jam up an honest partisan" complaint, but it's a little weaksauce. The dude got raided. There's other stuff going on with that mess. But it does seem like this was a guy with the connections.
But this is TrumpWorld, you know. Connections are everywhere--take the weird story of a Trump campaign bodyguard who was ex-FBI and knew about Felix Sater. Would you say this was an example of it being a small world after all, or just plain freaky?
You never know who is going to enter the TrumpWorld orbit, but that there's plenty of FBI folks is a good bet, what with Mueller's investigation centering on the former-Director Comey firing. A couple FBI folks are going to be subpoena'd by the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding what they know over that mess--even though Mueller seems to have already occupied their near-future testifying. (I'd sure like to hear from whatever FBI folks, probably out of the NY office, had it in for Clinton enough to pressure Comey into his 10/28/16 announcement re; HiIlary Clinton's emails--again.)
We're still learning about the extent of the Russian influence operation. The Trump campaign had an in with Facebook. Facebook is now sharing the ads purchased to influence the 2016 campaign with US Congress. Fake News was also peddled by longtime conservative news-aggregator Matt Drudge. The depth and breadth of the campaign's Russian interference, and the usefulness of the RW blogosphere to Russia's ends, is a wonder to behold.
I feel like I'm seeing a TrumpWorld Grab-Bag that will close on foolish people who did not understand what was happening here.
UPDATE: Somehow I was not able to squeeze in the following tidbits of note--
1) President Trump is using money donated to his campaign and the RNC for his legal bills. Donald J. Trump has been reputed to be a very successful billionaire. Don Jr. also is having legal costs covered by the RNC. He is a multi-millionaire.
2) Former WH Press Secretary Sean Spicer apparently kept detailed notes of his time at the White House. This is very interesting to Robert Mueller, but Spicer would prefer not to talk about it.